The forum featured speakers representing several of the groups who are the most involved and have the most at stake in the siting process, including farmers, renewable energy developers, conservationists, and government officials. We had a lively discussion of the current reality of siting projects, as well as how we can handle these issues in the future.
PART I highlighted the challenges of renewable siting from different perspectives – municipal,
Some takeaways from the session:
municipalities are struggling to develop ordinances to address renewable siting. They are using each other’s work as models and inadvertently restricting good developments like projects in landfills and brownfields. A model ordinance to follow.
large solar installations are clear-cutting large areas of forested land and sometimes clear topsoil and even pave the site.
developers are willing to put renewable energy projects in already developed areas, brownfield and superfund sites. But these projects are more complicated, require extra permits and are more expensive.
farmers embrace the goals of the RI Food Policy Council to increase locally produced food. But we need to maintain soils and good farmland.
- Brian Wagner, Town of Coventry
- Doug Doe, West Bay Land Trust
- Paul Raducha, Renewable Energy Developer
- Diana Kushner, Arcadian Fields Organic Farm